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WHITLEY COUNTY — The Whitley County Health Department will be hosting a two-day diabetes education class on April 25 and 26 to provide the latest information on managing diabetes.

The Healthy Living with Diabetes series through the Kentucky Department for Public Health will provide information on healthy eating, developing an active lifestyle, taking medications and reducing health risks. Each day class will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On Thursday, April 25, the class will cover what diabetes is, high and low blood sugar, acute complications, monitoring and management of blood sugar and sick days.

On Friday, April 26, the class will cover being prepared and traveling, coping, reducing risks, medications and alternatives, nutrition, and evaluation and goal setting.

Diabetes is an increasing health issue for Kentuckians. Kentucky has the 12th highest diabetes mortality rate in the United States, according to information provided by the Whitley County Health Department.

From 2004 to 2017 the number of Kentuckians diagnosed with diabetes rose from 7.4 percent to 12.9 percent. This means 1 in 8 (442,500) Kentucky adults have been diagnosed with diabetes.

An additional 142,500 adult Kentuckians are estimated to be living with undiagnosed diabetes.

According to the Whitley County Health Department, in 2017 13 percent of Whitley County residents were diagnosed with diabetes compared to the state level at 10.2 percent.

It is estimated 1 in every 3 (1,100,000) of Kentucky adults have prediabetes with 288,000 diagnosed and 812,000 undiagnosed in 2015.

Approximately $5.16 billion in total medical costs, lost work and wages are a result of diabetes in Kentucky, according to information from the Whitley County Health Department.

The health department states that some of the reasons for the high rates of diabetes are the high rates of obesity (32 percent), low rates of physical activity (30 percent), poor eating habits and lack of access to healthy foods.

The Whitley County Health Department says knowing your ABC numbers will help people take control of their diabetes.

A is for A1C which measures the average blood glucose (sugar) over the last three months. It should be tested at least twice per year with a goal of below seven if you have diabetes.

B is for blood pressure. The blood pressure goal is 130/80.

C is for cholesterol. Bad cholesterol, or LDL, builds up and clogs the arteries. The LDL goal should be below 100.

The Whitley County Health Department suggests to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes individuals should see a doctor to have their sugar tested, make healthy food choices, be more active, lose weight if needed, attend a lifestyle change program approved by the CDC such as the National Diabetes Prevention Program, and to not smoke.

Call the Whitley County Health Department at 606-528-5613 to sign up.

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